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Old 08-18-2016, 04:52 AM   #15
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With everything disconnect and no external power available I would suspect a shorted cell in one of the batteries. With the parallel/serial configuration of four six volt batteries one bad cell in one battery will eat the others. If an invertor was left on if should shut off with a low input voltage fault. Same for most electronic devises, low volts shut down. An incandescent light will keep going until there's nothing left but I don't think the current demand is enough to boil the batteries dry but I could be wrong.

If your boondocking use is lite then two six volt GC2s from the local membership warehouse store will work. Turning in four dead batteries for the core refund will bring the price down considerably.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:58 AM   #16
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I have also been guilty of not checking the water level every month as I should. Been lucky so far but I just purchased the Profill Battery watering kit from Amazon to make the job a little easier.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:23 AM   #17
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Maintenance is forever!!!!!!!
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtwallace View Post
Thanks Dan, I appreciate the sympathetic support. As much as I hate admitting how stupid and lazy I must've been, it's really the only answer that makes any sense.
Hey, I picked up new batteries from a local Battery Plus store that were a little higher, not much on the (AH), and fit perfectly.

I took the opportunity to add two more batteries to my six pack and wow what a difference.

When I did get around to testing the setup to see how long I could run on battery alone a few months later, they lasted all day with all my interior lights on, and three (TV's).

I had to end the test because it was too hot out so we needed the (AC), on came the gen (autostart) right on time.

So if you have the room, now maybe the time to up your capacity if you think you need it.

I still have room for two more that I may add next time home for a total of ten.

DTW[/QUOTE]

I don't have spare room where the four currently are, but in the future we're going to be putting about 2000aH of lithium in the bay where our propane tank used to be and 2000w of solar on the roof. That should just about do it

Thanks for the tip about Battery Plus!
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sweetbriar View Post
With everything disconnect and no external power available I would suspect a shorted cell in one of the batteries. With the parallel/serial configuration of four six volt batteries one bad cell in one battery will eat the others. If an invertor was left on if should shut off with a low input voltage fault. Same for most electronic devises, low volts shut down. An incandescent light will keep going until there's nothing left but I don't think the current demand is enough to boil the batteries dry but I could be wrong.

If your boondocking use is lite then two six volt GC2s from the local membership warehouse store will work. Turning in four dead batteries for the core refund will bring the price down considerably.
Sweetbriar is right. What you had is called a thermal runaway. One battery shorts out internally and the other three feed that battery until all batteries are damaged by the overheat condition.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbriar View Post
With everything disconnect and no external power available I would suspect a shorted cell in one of the batteries. With the parallel/serial configuration of four six volt batteries one bad cell in one battery will eat the others. If an invertor was left on if should shut off with a low input voltage fault. Same for most electronic devises, low volts shut down. An incandescent light will keep going until there's nothing left but I don't think the current demand is enough to boil the batteries dry but I could be wrong.

If your boondocking use is lite then two six volt GC2s from the local membership warehouse store will work. Turning in four dead batteries for the core refund will bring the price down considerably.
I rarely if ever turned the inverter on at all, let alone leave it on.

It happened to my chassis batteries last year - one bad cell fried both batts, so yeah... you're right. We could smell that one though; rotten eggs. This time we weren't there.

I think I will just go with two batts this time around... I can always add two more later. Save a little money, not risk ruining 4 batteries if it's something else, like a charging problem, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:39 AM   #21
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I have also been guilty of not checking the water level every month as I should. Been lucky so far but I just purchased the Profill Battery watering kit from Amazon to make the job a little easier.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Yeah, I like those. Heard of 'em before but never got around to them... obviously

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:03 AM   #22
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I go outside, open the battery compartment, pull out the tray and ALL FOUR Trojan T105's were bone dry and swollen like they'd been overcooked. I'm not sure how it's even possible to cook all four batts while it's sitting in storage. I always disconnect both the chassis and house the batteries when storing it - but I suppose since anything is possible I might have forgotten last time. Not likely, but possible.

They had water in them prior to our last short trip in June, but I haven't checked the batteries since we got back because it's been sitting in storage and it has been extremely hot here in Las Vegas this summer.

Since we almost never use our house batteries to power the coach, I'm going to find the cheapest brand I can and replace all four just to see if the batteries themselves were the problem. If it's a charging issue of some kind I don't wanna burn up a thousand dollar's worth of new batteries.

Any thoughts?
Wryly Blithe
Neglecting the electrolyte level in flooded lead acid batteries can cause that, (especial in extremely hot weather).

As can incorrect settings of the charge parameters of the on board battery charger in your coach.

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Old 08-18-2016, 11:31 AM   #23
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Sweetbriar is right. What you had is called a thermal runaway. One battery shorts out internally and the other three feed that battery until all batteries are damaged by the overheat condition.
Well, at least now I know what to call it Thanks for confirming, it helps set my mind at ease!
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:36 AM   #24
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Wryly Blithe
Neglecting the electrolyte level in flooded lead acid batteries can cause that, (especial in extremely hot weather).

As can incorrect settings of the charge parameters of the on board battery charger in your coach.

Mel
'96 Safari
Yeah, I'm starting to get the picture that I really pooched this one... no one to blame by my own neglect.

I believe the settings are correct, but I'll have my tech look at it just to be sure. The batts are at least 4-5 years old and rarely (if ever) extensively used by me or the previous owners. That's the main reason I don't want to replace them with Trojans / Interstates / Lifelines... we don't use them enough to justify the cost.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:39 AM   #25
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Thank you!

I want to thank everyone who contributed to my post. Even though it's pretty well confirmed that I'm a lazy moron, at least I know it probably wasn't because of a bigger, more expensive problem.

Though, come to think of it, I suppose being a lazy moron could get quite expensive

Seriously, thank you everyone. This is what make IRV2 so great
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:28 PM   #26
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I had a vacation home in Vegas a few years ago. I would only go every other week or so. Every time without fail in the summer, the toilets would be dry as a bone after just 2 weeks from the heat and lack of humidity in the air. Makes me believe without maintenance on a flooded battery the same would happen.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:43 PM   #27
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Went to pick up our rig today to bring her home for a tire appointment early in the morning. Open the rig, flip on the house battery switch and... nothing - not even enough juice left to light the LED.

So I fired up the generator just to see. It started right up so there's nothing wrong with the chassis batts, but even then the entire 12v house system was completely dead.

I go outside, open the battery compartment, pull out the tray and ALL FOUR Trojan T105's were bone dry and swollen like they'd been overcooked. I'm not sure how it's even possible to cook all four batts while it's sitting in storage. I always disconnect both the chassis and house the batteries when storing it - but I suppose since anything is possible I might have forgotten last time. Not likely, but possible.

They had water in them prior to our last short trip in June, but I haven't checked the batteries since we got back because it's been sitting in storage and it has been extremely hot here in Las Vegas this summer. There's a tiny chance I left the basement freezer on, but again... that's only a small chance, and it'd have to be coupled with the even smaller chance I didn't shut off the house batteries when I parked it. Forget one or the other? Maybe. Forget both? Hmmmm... in a weird was I almost hope that's what happened since it would explain the mystery and I wouldn't have to keep looking for the answer.

Since we almost never use our house batteries to power the coach, I'm going to find the cheapest brand I can and replace all four just to see if the batteries themselves were the problem. If it's a charging issue of some kind I don't wanna burn up a thousand dollar's worth of new batteries.

Any thoughts?
Unless your plugged in and using your inverter, your house batteries ALWAYS power the coach....not shouting, just emphasis.....if your not plugged and using your inverter, the 120 volt conversion is coming from a DC source outside of that all your lights, fans and alarms, propane and Co2 are powered by your house batteries. To check that, simply plugged in or not, turn off your battery disconnect switch and see what works. Instead of looking for the cheapest batteries, I'd get the best one I could afford.

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Old 08-18-2016, 09:18 PM   #28
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Unless your plugged in and using your inverter, your house batteries ALWAYS power the coach...

I don't understand... do you mean plugged into shore power? If so, why would I be plugged in AND using my inverter?

If your not plugged and using your inverter, the 120 volt conversion is coming from a DC source outside of that all your lights, fans and alarms, propane and Co2 are powered by your house batteries.

Well, I think I've mentioned at least twice now that I NEVER USE MY INVERTER. Not shouting, just emphasis

To check that, simply plugged in or not, turn off your battery disconnect switch and see what works. Instead of looking for the cheapest batteries, I'd get the best one I could afford.

I'll admit, I haven't tested every switch and socket, but... with the house batteries in store mode none of my lights will work, none of my fans will work, the water pump won't work, the basement fridge-freezer won't work... it's kinda the reason why I put it into store mode when I store it - in case I forgot to turn any of these off.

So, by never using the inverter, and either always being plugged in or running the generator, the batteries never discharge much below full. So... if I never deep-cycle the batteries - and I never have - why do I need to spend double the money on batteries that deep-cycle better than cheap ones?

You guys that run everything off the batteries / inverter all day and night need the very best batteries you can get, I understand that. But cheap or expensive will all run the lights and fans for the few hours it takes me to pack up the rig before a trip, so I don't understand what the advantage is for me?
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